North Dakota Senate passes five firearms bills

The North Dakota Senate passed a raft of gun-related legislation on Friday, including five bills graded by LEAP Forward.

HB 1332 allows schools to employ an armed “first responder.” From the Grand Forks Herald:

Senators passed House Bill 1332 on a 31-14 vote on Friday, March 29, sending it back to the House for concurrence on amendments. Rep. Pat Heinert, R-Bismarck, brought the bill. The former Burleigh County sheriff revived the bill's concept from the 2017 legislative session, saying it gives an option to schools at great distance from law enforcement.

The bill allows certain schools to develop a plan with the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction for an "armed first responder," who may not be anyone with direct supervision of students. The bill also outlines training.

The bill was amended to make a school's safety plan a confidential record.

That Amendment requires the bill to be returned to the House for a concurring vote.

HB 1381, a bill restricting the use of taxpayer money on gun buyback programs passed over bipartisan opposition by a vote of 32-12. The state house had approved the legislation 66-25 in February, and it now goes to Gov. Doug Bergum to be signed into law. From the AP:

Republican Rep. Luke Simons, the primary sponsor of the bill, says the firearm buyback programs send a message to children that the “government is buying evil guns to get them off the street.”

Kansas and Indiana passed similar legislation in 2014 that bans local governments from using taxpayer money for gun buyback programs to remove weapons from circulation.

Other bills passed in the Senate include legislation (❌HB 1308) legalizing “binary triggers” - an accessory that increases the rate of fire by firing one round when the trigger is pulled and another when it is released; a bill (❌ HB 1163) reducing the penalty for possession of a firearm at a public gathering; and ❌ HB 1042, allowing the carrying of a firearm in a church.

There are no more legislators in the North Dakota legislature that hold a perfect vote index on scored votes.